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Those who rush to other gods bring many troubles on themselves. I will not take part in their sacrifices; I will not worship their gods. Psalm 16:4 (GNT)

Several years ago I attended the same church as a State Trooper for the state I lived in at that time. This guy was huge, make no mistake about it. I’m guessing he was about 6’ 8” tall and close to 350 pounds. From the looks of him there wasn’t an inch of fat on him. He was all muscle. His facial features were deceiving. Tom (I’ll call him) was the kindest, most compassionate person I’d ever met. He had a heart for Jesus and a heart for people. That love of people was the driving force behind his career choice.

Tom worked in the children’s ministry with his wife. I never saw him get upset. Never saw any anger in his eyes. Never saw any personality traits that would match his stern expression…except once.

Tom and I were standing in a group having coffee after services. One person in the group made an innocent, off hand remark about how there was a speed trap out on the interstate on his way to church.

Tom looked him square in the eye and said, “That wasn’t a speed trap. Traps are for not intended for innocent people, only guilty ones. The innocent have nothing to worry about.”

There was a very noticeable pause in the group and discussion suddenly changed to the Huskers game the day before!

Tom’s point was well-taken. The innocent don’t need to worry about ‘being caught’. If you never lie, cheat or steal you will never be accused of being dishonest. If you never drink, you will never get drunk. If you never open yourself to the opportunity of an affair you will never be caught in infidelity. If you never look at pornographic images you will never have your mind contaminated by their poison.

The world is full of many gods (note the small ‘g’) that promise wealth, success and happiness. God’s that offer us status and power. Only one God promises us inner peace in the present and eternal life after death. That God (note the capital ‘G”) is the God of Genesis; the God of Creation; the Father of Jesus Christ.

When struggles attack ask yourself, is this a natural consequence of following a god of hopelessness or a test of your faithfulness. Only one God promises that we will never have to be ‘caught in the trap’ intended for the guilty.

PRAYER: Lord thank you for your promise of inner peace and eternal life. Forgive me for following the gods of this world. Empower me with your Spirit to follow after you. Amen.

Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts?  Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:15-16 (NLT)

Does it seem to you like the more intelligent we get and the better we get at communicating, the harder it is to know the right answers to the questions of life? Take a look at the struggles around the world. Look at the problems in your own home. Your Church. Your community. What of these problems could be resolved by relationships based on the mind of Christ?

The answer of course, if you are a Christ-follower, is most likely, all of them! The problem is, each of us needs to remember that we live in a world that doesn’t ‘have the mind of Christ’. What does the mind of Christ look like? One needs only look at the gospels.

Jesus lived in a political climate that could best be described as a dictatorship. The Jews, of which Jesus was one, were looked upon as a bunch of religious lunatics! In a society that worshipped many gods, the Jews held to the ridiculous notion that there was one God! There was absolute truth in Judaism, whereas Greco/Roman thinking held to truth on a relative scale. Sound familiar?

Yet the mindset of Christ rose above evil governments, empty religion and a godless society. He lived the kind of life that was attractive to the prostitute, the drug addict, the person held captive by lust or their past or physical and emotional abuse. The mind of Jesus gave enlightenment and wisdom in situations that needed solutions to life. He didn’t concern himself with the external situations. He neither went against or supported any political agenda. His mind was set on helping people cope with the journey called life.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could have the wisdom to sort through things? Wouldn’t it be great if you could rise above earthly concerns and have the wisdom to find answers for yourself and others in your own little niche’ of the world?

Good news! You can. Paul tells us we have the mind of Christ when we accept him as Savior. Does that mean things on this earth will be easy? Certainly not. Does that mean others will see you as wise? Not a chance.

What it does mean is that when you confess Jesus as Lord of your life he moves in for good. He isn’t just visiting. He’s making a change of residence. When Jesus moves in, lives change, outlook changes even when external circumstances attack, peace reigns.

PRAYER: Father, the more I see of life around me the more frustrated I get. People seem so set on their own agendas that they completely disregard the needs of others. Forgive me for the times I get sucked into that mindset. Empower me by your Spirit to see life as you see it. Help me to live in the wisdom of your word even when it’s contrary to ‘worldly wisdom’. Help others to see Jesus in me. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

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